Tulsa Craft Mafia

Cake Pop How-To
July 4, 2010, 11:14 pm
Filed under: Tutorial | Tags: , ,

Tara, here.

I decided to experiment with ‘cake pops’, this weekend. Let me share with you some of the delicious successes and failures of this project:

To start, you need to bake a cake. The lovely thing about cake pops is that it doesn’t matter if your cake is uneven, falls flat or suffers from any other aesthetic maladies.  In fact, you can use leftover cake (that someone else baked!).  Crush up your cake with a fork.  I did this right in the pan, after letting the cake cool for 5-10 minutes.  Once you have a pan full of fluffy cake crumbs, stir in some icing (I added cream cheese icing to pineapple cake).  I added just enough that it blended into the cake to create a soft dough.

Now it’s time to make the balls.  I’ve read that you should refrigerate the “dough” before forming the balls, I’ve also read that you should make the balls and then refrigerate before dipping.  This is my experience:  1) I made balls and attempted to dip without ANY refrigeration.  DID NOT WORK OUT.  2) I refrigerated the “dough” for 15-20 minutes and then made balls to dip. WORKED OUT BETTER.  I would recommend refrigerating for a while before moving on to the next step.

So, now you’ll roll up little balls and place onto a candy/sucker stick. Be forewarned that large balls don’t fare well when dipped into the candy coating.  Melt a cup of “candy melts” (or chocolate or other dip).  Dip the balls and place on a prepared surface/stand to set.  You’ll fare better if you prepare a block of foam or other box/surface with sucker stick holes.    *Candy pops can get heavy, so if you are placing them in/on a container, make sure that you space  and balance them in a way that your block/surface does not tip over. This may have happened to me. 😉

You can also add-on sprinkles at this point.  Fancier decorations (icing/fondant/etc.) should probably go on after the coating has hardened.

You (and your children/spouse/friends/pets) will be tempted to try these before the coating cools.  They’re super good, but definitely not as good as refrigerated pops.  We let ours refrigerate overnight.

The result is a yummy and super-sweet treat! Next time, I’ll enlist an extra set of hands to make the process a bit smoother.

Now that you know how it’s done,  take those 4th of July cupcakes, smoosh them into cake pops and share your results with us!


Okie Blog Awards
February 12, 2010, 3:52 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Hey guys! It we’ve been nominated for the Okie Blog Awards!  Take a look and vote for your favorite crafty gals!

Speaking of crafty gals . . . how would YOU like to be one?  We’ll be accepting applications now through March 1st. Download and email to tara.mason.harris@gmail.com.

Have a great Valentine’s Day weekend.  Want to make a gift for your sweetie? Take a look at our tutorials from Valentine’s Day 2009.

— Tara (http://masondesigns.etsy.com)

Tulsa Craft Mafia in October Issue of TulsaPeople
September 28, 2009, 4:22 pm
Filed under: Press | Tags: , , , ,

The Art of Craft

by Stacy Pettit

These aren’t your grandmother’s crafters.

For many people, the art of crafting died when their macaroni necklace was no longer considered a masterpiece, or when that Popsicle picture frame was just not that cool anymore.

Tara Mason-Harris hopes to change that.

As one of the founding members of the Tulsa Craft Mafia, a group of independent crafters, Mason-Harris wants crafting to be a youthful and fun activity for all ages — not just preschoolers.

“We’re putting a new face on crafting,” Mason-Harris says. “We bring that edge to the local community.”

Comprising six members, each with her own business and products, the Tulsa Craft Mafia boasts an eclectic portfolio of crafting creations — anything from vintage-style aprons to earrings made from guitar picks to onesies graced with pictures of smiling gnomes.

The last of these is one of Mason-Harris’ creations from her My Little Gnomies line, which includes clothing, magnets and printed cards sporting phrases such as “Gnome is Where the Heart is” and “Rollin’ With My Gnomies.”

“I just sat down and doodled a gnome one day,” she says. “I discovered how fun it was to change his hat, shirt and pant color.”

Mason-Harris’ knack for gnomes soon became a success. After testing out a few of her gnome creations at a craft show, she discovered that others wanted to roll with her gnomies in their shops and boutiques.

Mason-Harris says the other Tulsa Craft Mafia members are just as diverse in their ideas.

“We’re all really true to the ethic of indie crafting and the handmade movement,” Mason-Harris says. “This handmade movement is about turning against the commercial, cheaply made products and actually taking time to make a product.

“You try to put a piece of yourself into these handmade pieces and, in doing that, you tend to put forth more of an effort and create something beautiful.”

Others are noticing a difference in these products, too.

“We hear a lot of times that people are inspired by our work to start knitting or quilting or bringing back some of those skills that were lost with their mothers and grandmothers,” Mason-Harris says.

But it is a technology that mothers and grandmothers did not have years ago that is helping the handmade movement grow, Mason-Harris says. Web sites such as Etsy.com, through which people can buy and sell handmade items, have given crafters a place to showcase their work.

“With these Web sites, creative people have begun to come out of the woodwork,” Mason-Harris says.

The Internet is not the only place the Tulsa Craft Mafia’s pieces can be found.

The group’s products — from red and yellow knitted bracelets to homemade clay cupcake magnets — are displayed and sold at art and craft shows held statewide and in boutiques nationwide. Throughout each month, members meet at locally owned businesses to share ideas and try their hands at new crafting experiments.

These crafters have also weaved some generosity for others into the purpose of their group.

At several craft shows, the Tulsa Craft Mafia has donated a portion of its proceeds to nonprofit organizations such as the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and the Alzheimer’s Association. For the organization Breast Impressions Inc., which raises money for breast cancer research by selling casts of women’s breasts, some members molded, painted and decorated casts to be auctioned off.  

Members are alwa ys trying to come up with new ways to use their artistic talents. Brigid Vance has created anything f rom rosaries to cell phone charms. Although the public has responded well to jewelry from her Grey Eye Designs line, she says sometimes people are not always ready to accept a group member’s newest item.

“We like to try new things and bring them to shows to see how well they do,” Vance says. “But just because I love it and my mom loves it doesn’t mean everyone else will.”

Vance says this ability to constantly try new ideas is part of the fun of crafting.

“It’s OK to take chances,” she says. “If there’s something you really want to do and it fulfills you to make it, then just do it.”

Indie Emporium

This month, the Tulsa Craft Mafia will present the third annual Indie Emporium. The show, which will be held at the VFW Post 577, 1109 E. Sixth St., Oct. 9-10, gives local designers and artists an opportunity to sell their work.

About 40 vendors, 12 gallery artists and five fashion designers are expected to participate in the event. Craft demos and how-to’s, a fashion show and even a local band can be expected at this year’s emporium. A silent auction will also be held, with proceeds benefiting the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. For more information, visit www.indieemporium.com.

This article originally appeared in the October 2009 issue of TulsaPeople Magazine.

Meet Brigid – Grey Eye Designs
February 17, 2009, 2:19 am
Filed under: interview

Interview Time!! I dropped these questions on the sassy face behind Grey Eye Designs:

Tara Mason: I know that you craft on your couch–do you do it to tunes or tv (details plz)?

Brigid Vance: I’m mostly a TV watcher when I craft. When I have my way, I love to
watch Scrubs
on DVD while I make things.  Generally, though, I tune
into whatever is on my non-cable channels at the time. When I do
listen to music while I create, Rilo Kiley and Tom Petty are my

Tara: What art/craft project are you most proud of (and why)?

Brigid: I made a necklace using beads and a clasp from various pieces my
grandmother no longer wore. I almost sold it early on but wised up. I
think of it as an heirloom now. It’s sort of a busy piece, but it
means a lot to me.

Tara: When/why did you start crafting?

Brigid: I did the normal crafting stuff as a kid, but acting had really
been my creative outlet until a couple of years ago. Some friends
taught me to knit and crochet in college, but I never did much with
them. After graduation, I just decided I wanted to learn to make
stuff. I took a basic jewelry class at Tulsa Community College, and
from there, I’ve picked up more stuff through classes and the joys of
trial and error.

Tara: Your everyday inspiration?

Brigid: I’m inspired by all the creative non-professionals I know. My
mother is so artistic, but she’s an attorney. Before I was born, she
used to weave on a floor loom
. My aunt made beautiful quilts. In
college, all my friends were incredibly intelligent women who were at
Scripps to study chemistry or literature or psychology, but they also
knitted or painted or played the piano in their free time. I think
being around them made me feel like a bum, so I got inspired to do
something with my leisure time.

Tara: You prick your finger on wire, what four [or more] letter word emanates from your mouth?

Brigid: In that situation, I’m most like to say “Holy crap!” I’m plenty
capable of harsher words, but beading is kind of like my sacred space.

Tara: Do you ever craft for your puppy?

Brigid: I have never crafted for Sully, and I think that’s the way she
likes it. I contemplate making her a puppy scarf or hat sometimes, but
my boyfriend always sets me straight.

Tara: You define yourself with what color?

Brigid: Definitely purple — one part laid back, one part upbeat.

Tara: Three favorite websites/blogs?

Brigid: I’ve recently become addicted to Twitter, but I guess admitting it
is the first step to recovery. Aside from that, I love
http://keikolynn.blogspot.com, which is run by the crafter behind
www.postlapsaria.com. That girl makes me wish I could sew! I own so
much of her stuff. My friend Emily also runs
http://indietulsa.wordpress.com, an awesome resource for all things
locally run in the Tulsa area.

Tara: Favorite movie of all time?

Brigid: My favorite movie is Say Anything. It has everything: romance, a
brainy heroine, great quotes, Peter Gabriel music, and John Cusack.

Tara: Favorite food/beverage to bring to a craft night?

Brigid: As the resident vegetarian, I try to bring some kind of healthy

side dish with protein, like bean dip. I also love to bake, though, soI’m always torn. I make some killer vegan chocolate chip cookies.

Tara: Game show host you can most relate to?

Brigid: I’d have to say Pat Sajak. Wheel of Fortune is essentially a silly
place, and the man is far too clever to be there. If I were surrounded
by game-show contestants all day, I hope I could be as pleasant as
him. He never loses that smirk, though. Jeopardy! is more my show, but
Pat’s my homeboy.

Win Some Swag!
February 15, 2009, 9:21 pm
Filed under: Giveaway | Tags: ,

We want to know more about you! Take this survey and you will be entered into a drawing for a

Tulsa Craft Mafia Bag-O-Swag!!

Click Here to take survey

Tulsa Craft Mafia in Tulsa World
February 10, 2009, 4:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,
Tulsa World - 2/10

Tulsa World - 2/10

Valentine’s Gift – Fabric Cuff
February 7, 2009, 3:10 am
Filed under: Tutorial, Valentine's Craft | Tags: , ,

Kim Brown of the Tulsa World asked the Tulsa Craft Mafia to share some of our favorite crafts for Valentine’s Day.

I love getting unique accessories for Valentine’s day, so my craft is a fabric wrist cuff. There are infinite ways to customize the bracelet/cuff using favorite fabric, thread/floss, beads, etc.

Have some Valentine’s Day fun!

~ Tara Mason http://mylittlegnomies.etsy.com

Valentine's Cuff

Valentine's Cuff Instructions